Heading Off Heat Stroke

When the weather heats up, things can get really fun outside, but it’s important to be aware there’s a very real risk, too. Heat stroke claims lives every year, and it’s preventable. When physical activity in hot weather and prolonged exposure to high temperatures cause the body temperature to reach 104°F, heat stroke occurs. Medications, health issues and age can all increase risk – the very young and old are especially vulnerable.

Cramps may be the first sign, but many symptoms can warn of heat stroke. Here’s what to watch for:

  • High body temperature
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • No sweating
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Flushing (red skin)
  • Racing heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Headache
  • Passing out (or even coma)

Lack of treatment can mean serious complications or even death. You can prevent heat stroke with a few precautions, especially in the hottest part of the day:

  • Wear lightweight, loose and light-colored clothes.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Know whether your medicine makes you more prone.
  • Avoid strenuous activity outside.
  • Take it easy if you have a health issue that puts you at risk.
  • Don’t leave children (or anyone) in parked cars.

For other tips on preventing heat stroke, speak to your Culbertson healthcare provider.

Bike Safety

Use your head; wear a helmet. Bike accidents account for most sports-related emergencies for kids ages 5 to 14. Many can be prevented with a helmet. Having one that fits properly is just as important as wearing it.

  • Look up – if you see the bottom rim, it fits.
  • Check your ears – if the straps form a “V” under your ears when buckled, it fits.
  • Open your mouth – if the helmet hugs your head when you open your mouth, it fits.

Simple Safety Tips

  • Wear bright-colored clothing.
  • Dress for the weather.
  • Never ride with headphones.
  • Use a backpack to carry items.
  • Ride with a friend.
  • Make sure someone knows where you’re going.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated.
  • Use lights at night.

Rules of the Road

  • Look both ways before crossing traffic.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals – just like other vehicles.
  • Follow lane markings – don’t turn left from the right lane or go straight in a “right turn only.”
  • Scan the road behind you – look over your shoulder without losing balance or swerving. Consider using rear-view mirrors.
  • Keep both hands ready for braking.
  • Use hand signals to advise others of your intentions.
  • Choose the best way to turn left – like an auto: signal to move into the left turn lane, then turn left; like a pedestrian, ride straight to the far-side crosswalk, then walk your bike across.
  • Make eye contact with drivers.
  • Watch for road hazards – like sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.

Building a First Aid Toolbox for Summer

child playing at the beach

It’s nearly summer! Time for fun at the beach, the playground and the ball field… and unfortunately, also time for bug bites, cuts, scrapes and sunburn. To make sure your children enjoy summer as safely as possible, stock your first aid toolbox so you’re ready for anything summer can dish out. Keep it in your car so it’s always available and consider stocking separate kits for each family vehicle. If you haven’t checked your kit recently, be sure you have plenty of the most-used items, like adhesive bandages, and that none of the medications have expired. Replace and replenish as necessary.

Starting from scratch? We’ve put together a list of things to keep stocked and handy. Naturally, if your child has special medical considerations, such as severe allergies or a chronic illness, you’ll also want to make sure you’re equipped to handle those situations. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure. Ready-made first aid kits are available too. Check to see what items are included, and be prepared to add items as needed.

Start with this list and customize to fit your family’s needs:

  • Gauze, tape, adhesive bandage assortment
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Benadryl
  • EpiPen (for those with a history of severe allergic reactions)
  • Extra prescription medications, such as an inhaler, where needed
  • Ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen. (If you have a child young enough to require liquid, make sure you have it in that form, along with tablets for older children.)
  • Dramamine
  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Baby wipes (handy for quick clean-ups for any age)
  • Lip balm
  • Alcohol wipes
  • ACE bandage
  • Small scissors
  • Tweezers